On the morning of May 13 a farmer drove his air seeder through Eckville, taking down power lines in its wake. The damage took out the power to 741 residents in Eckville. Photo submitted

Farm equipment causing power outages in Central Alberta

According to Fortis Alberta the number of outages caused by farm equipment is on the rise

More than 700 residents of Eckville were without power on Sunday after a farmer drover his air seeder through town.

The large piece of machinery downed power lines and affected a few poles Sunday morning.

Fortis Alberta dispatched power line technicians to Eckville to work on restoring power to those effected.

According to Mona Bartsoff with Fortis Alberta, some were without power for upwards of 12 hours.

“The power went to before 10 a.m. on Sunday,” Bartsoff said in a phone interview, adding the exact time was 9:46 a.m.. “Most were restored by 4:33 p.m. in the afternoon and complete restoration and repair was completed at 8:50 p.m.”

This incident isn’t the only one if its kind. Over the past few weeks few weeks Fortis Alberta has received calls of a similar nature.

Bartsoff says the number of similar incidents has been on the rise over the last few years.

Large pieces of farming equipment, such as the air seeder that downed power lines in Eckville on May 13, are a large concern for the power company.

“I think farmers don’t realize how big their equipment is, and that the size of it have just about doubled since the 1950s,” said Bartsoff.

It is important for farmers, and anyone hauling, to know the size of their load as well as the route they are taking.

If the equipment being moved is more than 5.3 metres in height it is recommended the hauler calls the energy supplier, in this case Fortis Alberta, to plan the best route.

“We will work with the farmer, or whoever is moving the equipment, to plan the best and safest route possible.”

A piece of equipment should not come within seven metre of a power line while being moved.

In a situation like this, safety is the main concern for Fortis Alberta. A downed power line is a dangerous thing, and can be a safety concern not only for the general public but also the person driving the tractor.

The second concern is restoring power to the public in a timely fashion.

“The tractor caused a lot of damage, and it took us nearly 12 hours to remedy the situation,” said Bartsoff.

A safety concern is how people react to a downed line as well.

Bartsoff says it is important for the public to know what to do when they come across a downed power line.

“You need to stay at least 10 metres away from a downed line. The line could electrify the area around it.”

If you see a downed power line the first step is to call 911 and then the energy supplier, Fortis Alberta.

Just Posted

PHOTO: St. Augustine teams will head to volleyball provincials

Both Ponoka’s girls and boys teams from St. Augustine School are heading to provincials

Rollovers near Ponoka keep crews busy

Wintry road conditions proved a struggle for motorists on the QE2 highway with several incidents

Plane crash-lands near Ponoka

The airplane had its tail ripped off and it ended right side up in a copse of trees east of Ponoka

Ponoka barrel racer looks to strong future

Shayna Weir’s climb to CFR promises more to come for the barrel racer

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Grande Prairie RCMP charge 19 men, ranging in age from 23 to 69, in prostitution sting

Three-day operation targets sex activities in the downtown area

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

Most Read